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PBS KIDS GO! ® series The Electric Company charges into summer with soaring website traffic up over 600%!

New Online Progress Tracker for Parents, Educators and Caregivers

Plus Storytelling-Themed Week in July
Just in Time for Summer Reading!

New York, June 13th, 2011—The Emmy Award-winning PBS KIDS GO! series, The Electric Company, sparks high voltage website traffic with its launch of “The Adventures of The Electric Company on Prankster Planet,”across-platform transmedia experience starring Electric Company members Jessica and Marcus.  During the three week “Prankster Planet” launch in May, the site scored nearly 900,000 unique visitors and 3.2 million total visits, up 432% and 633% respectively versus the previous three weeks[1].

Using on-air, online and outreach components, the animated adventure allows kids to put themselves IN The Electric Company, learning vocabulary and math skills along the way. Kids really engaged in the interactive literacy-building experience, plugging into “Prankster Planet” for an average of 28 minutes per visit. Since “Prankster Planet” was introduced, The Electric Company website has averaged twice as many visitors per week than in the weeks prior to the launch. Video views also continue to grow!  Kids watched nearly 6 million videos on The Electric Company website during early May and many of the top performers were “Prankster Planet” mission webisodes![2]

“We are thrilled that this many children have discovered ‘Prankster Planet’ and that they are interacting with our content through so many different platforms,” said Erica Branch-Ridley, Broadband Supervising Producer for The Electric Company. “We know our line-up of fun, engaging and educational content will keep kids coming back to our website and learning every day.”

This summer, “Prankster Planet” will also add a Progress Tracker for parents, educators and caregivers!  As children complete the online missions that teach math-related vocabulary through videos, mini games and word challenges, parents can follow along and see how their child is learning through personal progress charts.  Additionally, the Tracker will include links to supplemental math resources to help parents extend their child’s learning beyond game play.

“Online games provide lots of repetition and practice, which can help kids build key skills,” said Rob Lippincott, Senior Vice President, Education, PBS.  “It’s great to see so many kids exploring ‘Prankster Planet,’ which offers kids informal learning opportunities to build math and literacy skills that will contribute to success in the classroom.”

Continuing the summer buzz, Priscilla Star Diaz, “Jessica,” was a guest reader at the Brooklyn Public Library’s annual Summer Reading event. And on July 1st, Priscilla will guest coach the iVillage PBS KIDS Summer Reading Community Challenge, kicking off “What’s the Story? Week,” which starts the following week on PBS KIDS GO! There will be four storytelling-themed episodes, premiering July 5th – 8th, that will feature Kyle Massey and other favorite The Electric Company friends. “What’s the Story? Week” will be supported on The Electric Companywebsite with a Storytelling Video SmashUp and an online game! In the “What’s the Story?” game, players can make their very own Electric Company fairytale, commercial or news report! Players select who, what, where, when, why and how of the story and then watch it play back as a narrated video. The Storytelling Video SmashUp lets kids create their own videos by mixing clips from the episodes with stickers, graphics and music, reinforcing vocabulary from the show. Their creations will appear in a gallery where other kids can rate the videos, send to friends or make new SmashUps. Kids will also get to see special behind-the-scenes interviews with The Electric Company cast members talking about their favorite summer reads!

The Electric Company recently received a 2011 Parents’ Choice Gold Award for Children’s Television, a 2011 Webby Award nomination for Best Youth Site and won two 2010 Silver Telly Awards for Online Video in the categories of Children’s Audience and Education.

The Electric Company and “Prankster Planet” are part of Ready To Learn, a joint initiative of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS, and funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Ready To Learn is a national initiative focused on using public media content to improve math and literacy skills of children ages two to eight, especially those from low-income families.

Visit The Electric Company at:

The Electric Company’s Press Kit
The Electric Company’s Website
The Electric Company YouTube Channel
The Electric Company on Facebook
The Electric Company on Twitter
The Electric Company Resources on Thinkfinity.org

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About Sesame Workshop

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization that revolutionized children’s television programming with the landmark Sesame Street. The Workshop produces local Sesame Street programs, seen in over 150 countries, and other acclaimed shows to help bridge the literacy gap including The Electric Company. Beyond television, the Workshop produces content for multiple media platforms on a wide range of issues including literacy, health and military deployment. Initiatives meet specific needs to help young children and families develop critical skills, acquire healthy habits and build emotional strength to prepare them for lifelong learning. Learn more atwww.sesameworkshop.org.

About PBS KIDS GO!

PBS KIDS GO! offers early elementary children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and community-based programs.  For more information on specific PBS KIDS GO! content supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit PBS.org/pressroom, join our community online on Twitter andFacebook, or visit PBSKIDSGO.org.

About the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

CPB, a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1000 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television, and related on-line services.

Contact

Sesame Workshop
Alicia Durand/Ellen Lewis
212-875-6223/212-875-6396
alicia.durand@sesame.org
ellen.lewis@sesame.org

1 Google Analytics and PBS Platform May 2011
2 Et al
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